Woolworths plastic bags ban will prevent 3.2 billion bags polluting the environment

Downtown Mandurah Woolworths employee Jaydon shows off the new bags
Downtown Mandurah Woolworths employee Jaydon shows off the new bags

WOOLWORTHS is no longer offering single use plastic bags at its checkouts.

The bags have been removed from the Mandurah Central, Mandurah Forum, Mandurah Greenfields and Miami Plaza stores.

A Coles ban will follow on July 1.

The ban at 800 Woolworths stores across Australia is expected to prevent 3.2 billion bags from polluting the environment.

“We know it will take time for shoppers to form new habits but putting re-usable bags at the top of your shopping list, keeping a couple in the car or leaving a post-it note on the fridge are some simple tricks that could work as a reminder,’’ local Woolworths manager Katie Reed said.

Customers who forget to take their own bags have a range of options, including a new 15-cent reusable bag made from at least 80 per cent recycled plastic.

There is also the Our Bag for Good for 99 cents, which will be replaced for free if damaged.

Proceeds from the Our Bag for Good will fund Junior Landcare grants programs.

Single-use plastic bags are used on average for just 12 minutes but can take 1000 years to decompose.

However, Trolley Bags managing director Peter Byrne said continually buying thick plastic bags or green bags at the checkout could do the environment more harm than good.

Trolley bags were invented by Irish entrepreneur Paul Doyle as a result of the plastic bag ban in Ireland and went viral when they arrived in Australia in 2015.

Mr Byrne said a more sustainable long-term solution was required for the plastic ban to reduce the effect on the environment.

The four sturdy reusable bags can be rolled together for easy carrying and hung on the back of the trolley while shopping.

Bin liners, garbage bags, plastic nappy bags and dog poo bags are not included in the ban.